Sunday, 30 December 2012

'Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland'

Link to web site

"Waste incineration is fundamentally unsustainable, recovering only a tenth of the energy used to make the products in our rubbish. 

"Burning one tonne of waste represents the emission of up to 6 tonnes of CO2, consisting of:
  • 3 tonnes of 'legacy' CO2 (generated by the manufacture of the items in our rubbish) and 
  • up to a further 3 tonnes from the combustion process itself (1.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of wood/paper burnt, 3 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of plastic).
"Recycling recovers 3-8 times more energy than incineration (3x more for paper, 5x more plastic, and 8 times more for textiles) and produces proportionately less CO2 as a result. 

"Over the past 10 years, the Scottish Government has spent over £100 million on incineration in Scotland (either directly or via local authorities), but less than £2 million on improving Scotland's recycling infrastructure, i.e. facilities for reprocessing materials such as plastic and paper for manufacture into new items. This is incredibly wasteful.

"Friends of the Earth have calculated that recycing generates 36 times more jobs than incineration on a pound-for-pound basis). Despite this, all four of the main political parties in Scotland support waste incineration. Under European law incineration includes gasification and pyrolysis.

If we really want to save the global environment, we really have to stop producing so much waste in the first place. That means doing things like banning single-use carrier bags, and forcing manufacturers to redesign their products so they can be easily reused and recycled with minimal energy consumption or CO2 emissions. These are things that only the Government can do, but the Government is doing very little about it.

Campaign background
" 'Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland' (GAINS) emerged from a gathering of Scottish incinerator protest groups at the Scottish Parliament on 1 October 2009.

"Our purpose is to enable fellow campaigners to share information and inspire the 'Powers that Be' to turn away from the lazy approach of burning waste, and instead adopt forward-thinking and imaginative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste."
Zero Waste
"We reject the Scottish Government's view that waste incineration is a renewable source of energy,  compatible with the aim of achieving a zero waste society. [See the web site of] the Zero Waste International Alliance."

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